Where to start with decommissioned well?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Michael A DeMarco, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Michael A DeMarco

    Michael A DeMarco New Member

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    Hello all, great forum you have here. I have been reading through all the posts in the to gain some beginners knowledge as to what I have on my property.

    We bought an old farm, and built a house on it. I immediately noticed and realized the value of a 6" well casing sticking out of the ground, and built my house without damaging or disturbing it. I have almost run it over a few times in the meantime, but I am finally ready to start doing something with it.

    The well was drilled in 1979, I attached the well log as it could interest some. The well is at 160' deep, and states 6 gpm.

    My goals are to get this thing up and running, to use as my primary irrigation source for around 2 acres of landscaping: an acre of Kentucky bluegrass sod, planter strips with trees, and 1.5 acres of pasture grass, 12-16 zones(?)

    I would ultimately like to remove the old well pump, electrical wire, and cable running down to it, and replace it all so I have years of reliability ahead of me.

    A primary question to begin, my biggest concern is the well runs water out the top cap consistently. It is a trickle, but it is running. Where I live there are springs scattered around, I have one on my property, 200' from the well. It worries me that if I pull the cap to start pulling up the pump I could open up a larger stream of water, near my houses foundation that I can not stop easily or at all.

    Reading around on the forum, most seem to indicate there water level is some feet above and below the well pump, not flowing from 160' down and up out of the cap. The springs should be at a shallower depth, and how would they be getting into the well pipe anyways at the lowest runoff time of the year, the fall?

    Well, thanks for any advice, want to start out on the right foot!!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    IL
    Step one would be to not let that pipe fall through the well seal and down the well.

    I am not sure how to best do that. Is that black poly pipe sticking up? What ID?

    Be careful until something is keeping that pipe from falling, other than friction from the well seal.
     
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  4. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

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    You have what is known as a flowing artesian well. You well log states that the well will flow 6 gpm if uncapped. If the casing were extended to 3 1/2 ft above ground level, the flow would stop. Or at least these were the conditions in 1979. They may or may not still be the same,

    You are sitting at the base of the wasatch front. Your well intercepts a water bearing zone that gets its recharge from the mountainside to your east. Same as the springs around you.

    I have encountered artesian wells with as much as 20 psi at the top of the casing. I have also seen wells that flowed over 300 gpm.
     
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  5. Michael A DeMarco

    Michael A DeMarco New Member

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    Ahhh, Artesian pressure above ground to 3'6. Wondered what that meant, thank you.

    That black pipe has been sticking out for a decade, I assume it goes all the way down to the well pump and is held by the cap seal and it is essentially standing vertically up the well casing. I lightly tugged on it, I think the friction between the cap seal and the pipe is holding it pretty firm.

    Should I assume the well pump is down at 160'?

    How do I pull the cap to pull the pump, without a 6 gpm "geyser" and then re-cap the casing to hold the water down while I determine my course of action? Maybe pull it in January?

    Does the 6" well pipe go down the full 160'? Is the artesian flow coming from that full 160' depth?

    If this well still flows those specs, could it irrigate what I am asking of it?
     
  6. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Yeah put a couple of hose clamps on that poly pipe above the well seal. The friction of the well seal is all that is holding the pipe, and it could slip right through and drop the pump in the well. 6 GPM will do a lot of irrigation. You can either set your zones for 6 GPM and run them for long periods of time, or pump to a cistern and use a booster pump to increase the zones sizes and decrease the time to get across. 6 GPM is not a geyser. With a pipe open or a plug out of the well seal you can easily set a well seal in place, then plug the hole and/or close the valve to stop the flow out of the well.

    LOW YIELD WELL_ CENTRIFUGAL_PK1A.jpg
     
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  7. Michael A DeMarco

    Michael A DeMarco New Member

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    Back for more!!

    I did a few things..

    First, got the well legally in my name. Great.

    Put power to all the legs of the pump with no action, so opened up the casing and pulled everything up. The pump is shot, we cut all the old junk wire and lines into short pieces and scrapped everything. Was down 60-80 feet?

    The well is currently "plugged" with a plumber test ball and has been that way for a few months.

    When the well was open, it ran water, but not as much as I expected certainly less than my small surface spring runs. We dropped a weighted plumb bob down there and figure there is 40-60 feet of depth "missing"

    We watched videos on youtube where guys are using air pressure to push silt/sand off the bottom up a piece of poly pipe. Seems effective? By the time I spend a few hundred and a weekend, I wonder what a pro costs to blow it out the right way. All the old timers around me say the well guys are all retired, the local guys have terrible Google reviews.

    Want to get a baseline of what I have after cleaning the well out, and then invest in all new equipment to either feed zones with continuous feed from the pump, or storage with a booster.

    Am I on the right track?
     
  8. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    With a flowing well that makes 6 GPM, you shouldn't need a storage tank and booster pump. Just put in a 3/4HP, 10 GPM submersible and control it with a PK1A kit, and you should have all the water you need. I am not sure you need to blow or clean the well. Just put the pump in and see how it goes.
     
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  9. Michael A DeMarco

    Michael A DeMarco New Member

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    I am reading, reading, reading about pump sizing, irrigation zone sizing, and a rough idea of my overall system needs.

    In the meantime, let's start with cleaning the bottom of the well out. It seems reasonable to me this must be done, material is present that was not when the well was dug. I don't recall exactly but we were missing a good portion of the depth, 40-60'?

    For my own education attempting to flush it tells me what material was in it, how much we were able to remove, what final depth we get, etc.

    I would like the pump to only be setup for the right depth once. If we set it up as is shallow, find there is an issue and need to go deeper, my lines are short.

    Lastly, would we get any better flow cleaning the sediment out? I would be surprised if what I saw coming out of the well casing while open, was 3 gpm. During last runoff season, after a record setting snowpack, the artesian flow was a trickle. After a few hours of research, I do wish the well was deeper like my direct neighbor and had 15+ GPM. With only having a potential of 6, and that was the best case the day it was dug, I want everything we can get.

    Thanks for any replies!!
     
  10. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Sometimes when you clean muck out of the bottom of a well it will just fill back up to the same level. Setting the pump down where the muck was it may get covered up and burn out. Just leave a little extra wire as adding a stick of pipe when needed is not that big of a job. You really won't know anything until you get a pump in the well and do some testing. But like I have said, even a 1 GPM well makes lots of water in a day, you just may have to store some water and use a booster pump is the well is not strong enough.
    LOW YIELD WELL_ CENTRIFUGAL_PK1A.jpg
     
  11. Michael A DeMarco

    Michael A DeMarco New Member

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    Understood,

    It may have been like that for quite some time as the pump we pulled was not in there very deep.

    So a splice in the water line is not frowned upon? Extra wire spooled up above ground is not a big deal.

    I am looking specifically at the Gould GS series pumps, lots of stainless, affordable, and built in the USA. Any preferred brands here on the board I should look into?

    They make a 10 GPM pump that looks like it will fit the bill. There HP calculator states I only need 1/4-1/2, how did you figure 3/4 HP? Just a good rule of thumb?

    Thanks!!
     
  12. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    At that depth adding an extra piece of pipe if needed shouldn't be a problem. You can also leave some extra wire in the well, just looped back and forth at time or two up top and taped to the drop pipe.

    Goulds has a Stainless case over plastic impellers and stuff. Grundfos or similar are the only ones with all stainless.

    The 60 PSI needed is the same as 138' of lift for the pump. A 1/2 HP, 10 GPM will do it but barely. A 3/4HP, 10 GPM will just give a little more pressure if needed, not really more water.
     
  13. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Active Member

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    I missed where the well log was posted (not sure where it is but I'd like to read it). I was just reading back through this thread and from what Boyce says you are interpreting things wrong. He said the log said it had an artesian flow of 6gpm at 3.5' of head. The artesian flow or head may have reduced some over the years or seasons or due to number of wells tapped into the aquifer that are currently flowing, but this info is completely independent of the wells overall yield. You probably do have a 15 gpm + yielding well like your neighbors. This would also explain why the old pump was not set very deep.
     
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  14. Michael A DeMarco

    Michael A DeMarco New Member

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    My neighbor has a deeper well, I have his well log as also, it's all public record.

    I took it down because I realized it pinpointed my location, and I somehow used my full name when registering, which I don't see how to change. Not keeping very anonymous..

    Can I send to you?
     
  15. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Active Member

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    If you want to try to pm me....I dont know much about how this thing works. My point is the artesian flow of a well is totally independent of the pumping yeild of the well. Here in VA there are 2 distinctly different parts of a completion report for that data....and I would assume in your state as well. Sounds like you may only have one piece of info...and it is likely the artesian flow.
     
  16. Michael A DeMarco

    Michael A DeMarco New Member

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    START DATE: 01/05/1979 COMPLETION DATE: 02/21/1979

    BOREHOLE INFORMATION:
    Depth(ft) Diameter(in) Drilling Method Drilling Fluid
    From To
    0 160 6 CABLE

    LITHOLOGY:
    Depth(ft) Lithologic Description Color Rock Type
    From To
    0 3 OTHER TOP SOIL
    3 19 CLAY,SILT BLACK
    19 54 CLAY,SAND TAN
    54 89 CLAY,SAND BLUE
    89 93 WATER-BEARING,SAND
    SOME WATER
    93 109 CLAY BLUE
    109 153 CLAY,SAND BLUE
    DARK
    153 160 WATER-BEARING,SAND,GRAVEL
    FINE GRAVEL. WATER FLOW 6 GPM

    WATER LEVEL DATA:
    Date Time Water Level (feet) Status
    (-)above ground
    02/21/1979 -13.86 FLOWING

    CONSTRUCTION - CASING:
    Depth(ft) Material Gage(in) Diameter(in)
    From To
    0 160 NEW .250 6

    CONSTRUCTION - FILTER PACK/ANNULAR SEALS
    Depth(ft) Material Amount Density(pcf)
    From To
    0 12 BENTONITE

    WELL TESTS:
    Date Test Method Yield (CFS) Drawdown (ft) Time Pumped (hrs)

    02/21/1979 ARTESIAN FLOW .013


    WATER QUALITY DATA AVAILABLE


    GENERAL COMMENTS:
    *WELL is equipped with valve and cap.
    *TYPE Of water: Sandy
    *METHOD Of sealing off strata: cased off.
     
  17. Michael A DeMarco

    Michael A DeMarco New Member

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    Here is the actual:
     

    Attached Files:

  18. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Active Member

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    Mud rotary well driller, pump installer
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Well...reading this I would interpret that you do have a well that only yields 6 gpm. I would read from this that it had an artesian flow of 0.013 gpm at 13.86' of head pressure back in 1979. I often wonder why drillers do what they do...or what they don't do. You well has filled become it is finished in a layer of sand and doesnt have a well screen.....
     
  19. Michael A DeMarco

    Michael A DeMarco New Member

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    6 is better than 0, but I am concerned

    Should we clean it out to start fresh? Can anything be done to the existing well to better screen out the debris coming in?

    6 GPM, if we get it back to that, does not seem to have enough volume to feed a sprinkler system for my several acres. For instance, only 2 of the Rainbird heads I want to use would be under 6 gpm. But I get the next test is to drop a fresh pump down there and see how well it recharges.
     
  20. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    It is possible to put a screened 4 inch pvc liner into a 6 inch well.

    I don't know if you should clean the well. A fast method involves a big towed engine driven compressor, such as 275 cfm. A good slow way is to use an air lift pump with a lesser compressor (maybe 8 cfm? maybe less). Air lift pumps work best with a high static water level. That's you.
     
  21. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Active Member

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    Mud rotary well driller, pump installer
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    Richmond, VA
    I made my earlier comments based on your text of the well log.....which does not match this post of well log.

    You should do a pump test on the well, see what it actually makes and what the quality looks like.....go from there. If it has a yield of 8-10 gpm or more and pumps clean clear water relatively quickly I wouldn't do anything other that use it. If the yield is low and/or pumping much sand, then you should probably think about working on this or getting another well drilled. That shallow, though that type of unconsolidated formations would be very easy drilling, and should not be very expensive.
     
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